Summer is a time for slimming down, soaking up the sun, and devouring the abundance of healthy produce that Mother Nature provides for us. Winter, historically, has been a time to do the opposite. If you’ve emerged from the holiday season feeling slightly “jollier” and not as healthy as you could be, you may be anxious for the return of garden salads and fresh fruit.
But just because you can’t find fresh strawberries, watermelon, sweet corn, tomatoes, or zucchini at every grocer like you can in the summer, doesn’t mean you have to derive the bulk of your nutrition from frozen peas and canned fruit.
The following salad recipes can be cooked up in your luxury apartment kitchen in no time, and call for mostly fresh ingredients found just about anywhere…even in the the middle of winter!
Winter Fruits and Greens
Fresh spinach, a couple of oranges or grapefruit, a pomegranate, and some fresh rosemary are the primary ingredients required to pull this recipe off. Loaded with antioxidants and rich in Vitamin C, this salad is colorful, light, and refreshing. If you’d like to make the buttermilk dressing recommended in the recipe, you’ll need olive oil, Dijon mustard, rice or white wine vinegar, and a couple tablespoons of buttermilk. For a full list of ingredients, preparation instructions, and more images, visit Brooklyn Supper.
Sweet Potato Quinoa
One of my favorite salads of all time, I first encountered this health-packed delight at a friend’s wedding in Iowa. While credit for this culinary creation is due to Mark Bittman, I usually deviate a bit from the standard southwestern recipe. The base is the same: Quinoa, sweet potato, bell pepper, red onion, and parsley. But when I mix the dressing, I add paprika, cayenne, and cumin to give the dish a south-of-the-border kick.
Roasted Beet and Winter Squash
Hearty and healthy, this color-blasted salad, courtesy of The New York Times, is exceptional. Its primary ingredients are rich in vitamins and minerals that are ill-represented in the diets of most humans. Beets, known for their strong flavor and rich color, are high in folate and manganese. They also contain ample iron, phosphate, and copper. Winter squash, highly fibrous and packed with Vitamins A and C, is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Be careful though. If you eat too much of this salad, the tryptophan contained in the beets may make you sleep well ahead of your bedtime!
Sesame Ginger Kale
This colossal feat of culinary art, courtesy of Cookie + Kate, manages to present a blend of healthful ingredients so tasty the unsuspecting eater, not knowing any better, may be driven to the conclusion that butter or another sinful ingredient must be hidden within. In addition to kale and ginger, this recipe calls for avocado, red bell pepper, cilantro, red onion, garlic, and a handful of accompaniments. With the exception of an optional splash of toasted sesame oil that can make the flavor of the dressing a bit more complex, every single ingredient in the final product is raw.
The Super Everything Salad
If super foods are your thing, you are going to want to pay special attention to this salad from The First Mess, which manages to mix more than a dozen super seeds, berries, and veggies into one delightful dish. Named “The Everyday Superfood Salad” by the geniuses who discovered it, this salad fuses together kale, broccoli, beet, avocado, basil, blueberry, flax, chia, coriander, and more. The result is an impossibly healthy salad that can help get your vitals in check.
These salads are fairly easy to mix up, but they aren’t going to prepare themselves. Head over to your nearest purveyor of produce, pick up the fresh ingredients the salad calls for, and make a delicious, healthy meal. It’s easier to Live Life + Love Life when your diet has plenty of nutrient-rich, energy-providing, fresh ingredients.
We’d love to hear your favorite salads? Share in the comments!